Articles

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  • Outsourcing moves up the maintenance ladder

    Outsourcing of non-core operations within a company, large or small, is now a well established corporate strategy. By entrusting services such as IT support, accounting, human resources and other “back office” activities to specialist firms prepared to do the job at an acceptable price, chemical companies can concentrate on their main business — where they are the specialists. That's the theory, at least.

    Mike Spear, editor at large
    05/29/2006
  • Engineers should talk up the profession

    A recent poll provides an industrial perspective and points up its troubling implications. As many universities are discovering, science and technology aren’t as popular as they once were. It's your job to spread the word, however small.

    Mike Spear, editor at large, Hertfordshire, U.K.
    05/26/2006
  • Nanotechnology raises big concerns

    Nanotechnology is grabbing headlines these days and the growing prospects of its use is spurring increasing attention to safety issues. This article examines the worldwide reaction to burgeoning popularity of the technology and what safety concerns are legit.

    Mike Spear, editor at large
    05/25/2006
  • Get a handle on solids’ flow

    Properly accounting for how bulk solids actually will flow in a vessel or overall process can be crucial for successful operations. Learning some simple parameters can often provide a good sense of flowability.

    Don McGlinchey, Glasgow Caledonian University
    05/22/2006
  • Separation Technology: Draw Insights on Distillation

    Residue curve mapping is a powerful tool to better understand the design and operation of distillation columns. This article describes how to use residue curve maps to check the feasibility of separation of homogeneous mixtures and for developing the conceptual design of towers.

    Raymond E. Rooks, The Dow Chemical Co.
    05/15/2006
  • Are you certain about uncertainties?

    Dr. Gooddata, therefore, recommends that we largely abandon the term “bias.” Instead, we will use the terms “systematic error” and “systematic uncertainty.” Systematic error is the actual error that exists between a measurement and the true value with zero random errors. Systematic uncertainty is taken to mean the estimate of the systematic error’s limits that we could expect with some confidence.

    05/11/2006
  • Meet SIS “User Approval” Mandates

    No manufacturer’s claim, third-party analysis or certification report reduces the user’s responsibility for determining that a product is fit for its purpose. Make sure to properly balance analysis and testing information with field experience.

    Angela E. Summers and Susan Wiley, SIS-TECH Solutions, LP
    05/11/2006
  • Paired processes aim to fuel biodiesel buildup

    The first plant to go from biomass to syngas to biodiesel is slated for 2007 startup. Once started up early next year, the unit will feed in 75,000 mt/yr of wood chips and straw to make so-called SunDiesel.

    05/11/2006
  • Why do you need performance supervision?

    One way to unlock control system secrets is to implement PSS, a smart performance reporting system that can dramatically help save time, money, and prevent problems with your processes.

    05/11/2006
  • Ribbon blender ups production of powders

    Read about a new mixing process increases annual capacity by almost 900%. The ribbon blender incorporates a bag dump station, a receiving hopper, and a pneumatic conveying system.

    Charlie Divine, Munson Machinery Company, Inc.
    05/01/2006
  • Praxair wins 2nd annual Plant Innovation Award

    Chemical Processing's Plant Innovation Award recognizes ordinary engineers for solving difficult technical problems with creativity and dogged determination. Praxair's Geismar plant gains this year's honor for optimizing the performance of reforming units.

    Dirk Willard, senior editor
    04/25/2006
  • Process Engineering | Get paid for filling our suggestion box | Chemical Processing

    Now's your chance to profit from telling us how to do our jobs . In our continuing effort to make ChemicalProcessing.com better for you, we are looking for suggestions for improvements to the site. Each constructive, actionable idea will receive a $10 Amazon.com gift certificate. If we implement your suggestion, you'll receive an additional $50 Amazon.com gift certificate.

    04/24/2006
  • Develop an air-tight defense

    Chemical processors face significant challenges in controlling fugitive emissions. The emissions escape from valves, compressors, pumps, piping components, etc. It is a difficult task, but necessary to avoid penalties and other liability.

    Lynn Bergeson, regulatory editor
    04/24/2006
  • Choose the right temperature sensor

    There’s no simple solution to achieving accurate temperature measurement. It’s a combination of knowing the inherent accuracy of particular sensor types, and how environmental factors can create further measurement uncertainty and the sensor calibration techniques available to reduce this uncertainty.

    Cal Swanson, Watlow Electric Manufacturing Co.
    04/24/2006
  • Questions about gloves link to work safety

    The proper hand protection plays a tremendous role in keeping plant workers safe. This article answers questions often posed by workers and managers about hand protection products, their applications and limitations.

    Nelson Schlatter, Ansell
    04/20/2006
  • Mind Mixer Mechanical Design

    While most mixers can provide a long service life — for instance, some are still operating after more than 30 years — mechanical problems can shorten life or even break parts. In this article, learn about all the mechanical problems that may befall your mixing equipment.

    David S. Dickey, MixTech, Inc.
    04/18/2006
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